Lesson 1: Are You VisionAware?
Name(s) of students(s):
Age and grade level:
Goal or objective from IEP connected to lesson:
After completion of the lesson, the student will be able to name or state the following:
- One purpose of the online resource VisionAware.
- Two different types of eye care professionals.
- Five components of a low vision exam.
- The definition of legal blindness.
- The entitlements people who are legally blind may qualify for.
- Three functional implications of the student’s visual impairment.
- Three medical characteristics of the student’s visual impairment (such as acuities, stability of vision, and the like).
Materials needed: Note taking device, Internet access, and personal resource file
Discussion: Own It
“As a person with a visual impairment, you already know the importance of seeing an eye care professional on a regular basis. Consider the following questions:
- Do you schedule your eye medical appointments?
- Do you go to your eye appointments on your own or does a family member take you?
- Do you understand the information your eye care professional shares with you during your exam about your ocular health?
- Do you know if there has been a change in your acuities?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it’s time for you to take full ownership of your eye care. It is certainly okay to have someone attend your appointments with you; four ears are often better than two. However, if your mom or uncle schedules the appointment for you and asks all of the questions during the exam, you could be taking more responsibility for your eye care. During this lesson you will learn the skills you need to be able to take ownership of your ocular health. As you progress through the additional lessons in this series, you will develop an understanding of how this knowledge will have an impact on your success at work.”
Activity 1: Eye Care Basics
- Navigate to the VisionAware website.
- Read Low Vision and Legal Blindness Terms and Conditions.
- Consider the following scenario and answer the corresponding questions: John recently had an eye exam. A year ago, his ophthalmologist reported his acuities as 20/70 for distance viewing. This year John’s reported acuities are 20/120 for distance viewing.
- Did John’s acuities improve or decline?
- How could John’s change of vision have an impact on his work?
- Should he share this information with his supervisor or just hope his supervisor doesn’t realize that John can’t see the information projected on the overhead during staff meetings?
- What are your acuities?
- Why is it important to know your acuities?
- Which term describes your functional vision: legally blind, low vision, or blind?
- Why is it important to know if you’re legally blind?
- Read The Different Types of Eye Care Professionals and answer the following questions.
- What type of eye care professional do you see?
- What is the name, address, phone, and fax number for your eye care professional? Have you stored the contact information in an appropriate place, such as your phone, address book, or portfolio?.
- In the future if you need to locate another eye care professional, how could you locate one?
- What factors are important to consider when choosing a different eye care professional? (Hint: Insurance is one!)
- Set a goal for how you will assume responsibility for your ocular health care needs.
Activity 2: Low Vision Exam Defined (for students with low vision)
- Read What is a Low Vision Examination?
- Consider the following scenario and corresponding questions:
Keith has noticed some changes in his ability to see things in his office environment when he’s sitting at his desk. For example, the wall clock is about 15 feet away from his desk and he used to rely on it to remember to take his breaks on time, but now he can’t see it. He has been using his cell phone to check the time, but does not want it to appear as if he is checking his text messages or reading his social media page when he is supposed to be working. Keith is also having difficulty seeing smaller sized print. While he was at lunch with his co-worker, he was able to read the salad choices, which were in regular sized print on the menu, but he could not read the ingredients, which were in a smaller font. In addition, he could not read the phone number off a client’s business card.
- Would a low vision examination be something Keith should look into?
- If you need a low vision exam, the outcome of the exam will depend greatly on the information you are prepared to share with the low vision specialist. Below is a list of the kind of information a low vision specialist will ask for. Type your responses and keep them in your resource file.
- List all current medications.
- Describe recent changes in your vision.
- List eye diseases that your family members have had.
- Note previous eye treatments, surgeries, or injuries and the dates.
- List the date of your last eye exam.
- If you are seeing a new eye care provider for the first time, it will be helpful to have copies of your medical records from your previous provider. Obtain a copy of you most recent eye medical report and put it in your resource file.
- You should also be prepared to ask the low vision specialist a series of questions. Make a list of questions you could refer to during your low vision exam. Keep the questions in your resource file. Refer back to the article What is a Low Vision Examination for a list of potential questions you could ask.
Goal of next lesson: